The effects of Foods and Drink, etc. on trumpet playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mlhend2002, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. mlhend2002

    mlhend2002 New Friend

    Dec 30, 2008
    Salisbury, NC
    I have noticed over the years that the foods and drinks I have even a couple of hours before I play have a profound effect on my lip and over all trumpet playing. For example, Salty food or drinks decrease the flexibility of my lip. Likewise, Fatty foods decrease the flexibility, but also the low and upper range as well. Drinks or foods with alot of artificial ingredients definitely decrease the over all performance and endurance of my lip. Drinking plenty of water before and during playing helps greatly overall. When playing in large crowds by myself (yes, I still get a little nervous even after all these years) I found drinking fruit juices like cranberry, apple or even better orange juice (with low acid seems the best) helps calm the nerves and gives me the performance I'm looking for.
    A side note: getting plenty of rest and calming the mind and body before playing also helps greatly..classical music is the ticket for me.

    What other foods, drinks or routines do you perform before performing before crowds to maximize your trumpet playing.


    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    A banana shortly before a gig is great--sugar for early energy, and the carbs kick in just as the sugar wears off. If playing in a cold environment (some of the German Churches I've played in were about 50 degrees at performance time; after a two hour rehearsal) a good hot soup can help with the discomfort.

    Don't forget to hydrate.
  3. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I clean my teeth without toothpaste before a gig, and any meal is a light one - seems to help.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Normally I do not eat before playing. Not even 2 hours earlier. Digesting food takes energy that I really need when playing.

    I always eat a decent breakfast and a solid lunch. After the gig, pasta is my favorite.

    I would be VERY careful about dreaming up reasons why things don't work. They only succeed in increasing the question mark while playing.

    The human body is very resilient, the mind is NOT!
  5. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    I also prefer to play on an empty stomach. I do drink water often during playing (though not simultaneously). I find eating within 2 hours tends to interfere with playing in terms of gas and general comfort.
    I am not a hard-hitting player though.
  6. melza

    melza Pianissimo User

    Mar 12, 2010
    I drink water and eat meal earlier in day, and to calm nerves just breathing and cup of peppermint tea about hour before gig
  7. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    Amazing. I know in shooting, alcohol is a no-no (obviously) and Nutrasweet (Aspartame) is also a no-no, widens my groups right out. Other than that, shooting while "stuffed" after a big meal, not so good, but shooting while hungry and feeling "empty" not so good either.
  8. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Thanks for clarifying, those of us on the look out for any trick to improve range/endurance might have tried that. ROFL
  9. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey
    I am in total agreement. I would not pound down a heavy meal within a couple of hours before playing. I would avoid hot foods (both in temperature and in spice). I generally rinse and floss when I get to the job (because my first stop after setting up my stand is the toilet so I do it then). Stay hydrated. I'll try peppermint tea, although I don't get the jitters. My teacher in grad school was a big time proponent of beta-blockers but, I didn't think that was necessary unless you really had performance anxiety issues.
  10. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    What's with all the hocus-pocus, mumbo- jumbo about performing on the trumpet? It's mainly superstition ,like the ball player's lucky socks, you're a pro, you go out and do what you're paid for.I had no idea trumpet players were so delicate. Only eat so many hours ,or inhale certain aromas before a gig. You know which foods agree with you,and which ones don't. If you're prepared,you're prepared,if you're not ,you're not. Now I agree, you shouldn't stuff yourself until you can't move before a gig ,but there is nothing wrong with eating a sensible meal.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010

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